Botswana joins Covax initiative to enable 20% of population to access vaccine

The massive steps allows it the option to purchase the vaccine for a fifth of its population as it looks to revive battered economy.

Botswana - Earlier this week, Botswana announced it had joined the Covax initiative, co-led by the World Health Organization, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). Formally called The COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility, the initiative intends to secure 2 billion safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines by the end of 2021. With its upfront payment, Botswana joins a growing list of companies lining up to receive drug candidates proven to be effective against the coronavirus.

Though Botswana has reported a measly 7,800 cases and less than 30 deaths related to the pandemic, the country's economy has been dealt a massive blow by pandemic, with a 9% contraction expected for 2020. Because it is classified as upper-middle income country, it is not illegible for subsidized vaccines under the Covax initiative. However, under the agreement, it will be allotted about 940,800 vaccine doses for usage by 20% of its 2.3 million population. How it will distribute the vaccine among its population remains to be seen.